Tall succulent plants are numerous and come in a wide variety in nature. However, when most people think about succulents and cacti, they think of cute, small, and compact species such as the orchid cactus or the jelly bean plant.
What if we were to tell you that succulents as tall as 30 feet exist worldwide and might be the most spectacular plants you might ever set your eyes on? Read our list to discover 15 succulents that break stereotypes and grow much taller than the average.
- Tall Succulent Types
Tall Succulent Types
1. Desert Rose
Desert rose, known as Adenium obesum, is a succulent that can get as tall as 4 feet. It originally belonged to the Saharan and Southern African regions and the Arabian peninsula. It is also known as the dwarf bottle tree plant, Mock azalea, and Impala lily.
The Desert rose is a flowering plant that produces flowers from pale pink to dark red. It has tall, columnar and sturdy stems with thick fleshy leaves that store water for a long time. It has been declared a poisonous plant species, though. No part of this exotic succulent is safe for consumption.
One unique feature of this succulent is a wide and thick base covered in sharp thorns. It is a surprisingly fast-growing desert plant, especially considering its size.
If you want to grow this tall plant at home, you will not have much trouble. It is a low-maintenance plant that will grow even in low-light conditions. However, to get this plant to produce its exuberant bloom, you must create the ideal desert conditions. Other than that, this houseplant will survive even the worst kind of neglect, not that we recommend doing so!
2. Aeonium Arboreum
Although they grow up to only 3 to 4 feet in height, they make the perfect tall succulents for pots. This is because Aeonium is a subtropical succulent shrub with a weed-like invasive growth habit. Therefore you should never plant them outside in the garden soil as they will soon take over.
Each Aeonium has a central stem that grows tall and gives off multiple branches. The leaves on these branches are dark green with lighter green stripes running through them. In summer time this plant produces pink and white star-shaped flowers. Winter produces large red berries hanging down from long stalks in the wintertime.
It cannot tolerate temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so you must bring it indoors during winter. Make sure it receives direct light all day long and occasional watering. Put it among the smaller succulents in your collection, such as ceropegia woodii or burro’s tail, to create a unique contrast.
3. The Zebra Plant
This plant can grow as tall as 6 feet when grown outdoors in the soil without a pot. It will grow only about 2 feet tall inside the house, just like its sister plant, panda plant, or Kalanchoe tomentose.
It has stripped leaves that are dark green with white veins forming unique patterns on them. It produces gorgeous flowers from late summer to early autumn time. This plant produces 6 to 8 inch long flower stalks for the next several weeks with yellow to golden-colored flower clusters.
It is a rather slow-growing succulent that takes as much as three years to become only 2 feet tall. To grow this succulent as tall as possible, you better plant it outdoors in slightly acidic, almost neutral, well-draining soil. Choose a spot that receives only partially bright sunshine; otherwise, the leaf spikes might get sunburnt.
This succulent is unique because it likes to be watered consistently. You must not let its soil dry out more than two inches from the surface for long periods.
4. Eve’s Needle
This plant goes by the extremely long name of Austrocylindropuntia subulata and Eve’s needle plant. It can grow to a height of 13 feet if properly cared for. It has thick, sturdy cactus stems with 5-inch long awl-like and yellow-green leaves sticking out of it in the form of spikes.
In the summertime, this cactus even produces large pink flowers that look amazing. This is quite a hardy cactus and will survive in all ranges of temperatures. It will also grow in most soil types and only needs watering about two times a month, even in the summertime.
When growing it by yourself, make your own loamy and sandy soil. It is best to give it partial bright sunlight to grow it to its maximum potential. This cactus will tolerate intense direct light for only three to six hours daily. There is no need to feed it, but you can go ahead and supplement its soil with an organic fertilizer to boost the growth and flowering.
5. Jade Plant
This plant also goes by Crassula ovata, Money plant, and Lucky plant. It is a succulent that has been one of the most popular house plants in the world for decades. An adult plant looks almost like a miniature version of a tree, 6 feet tall and 3 feet across.
The Jade plant is not fast-growing and will only grow about two to three inches per year. You need to provide ideal care conditions to make it grow faster and better. It needs neutral to very slightly acidic soil that drains fast and fully.
It would be best to place it somewhere warm and lit by direct sunlight. Getting six to eight hours of bright light daily and frequent watering when the top two to three inches of the soil becomes dry are the most important things to take care of. Their small coin-shaped leaves are toxic to humans and pets such as dogs and cats.
6. Cyphostemma Juttae
This is another gorgeous succulent from South Africa that can grow tall and big. It has a single large, thick stem that grows up to 6 feet tall. Leaves are arranged in circular whorls around this single stem. Apart from its tall stem, it is also popular for its large bright leaves with corrugated edges.
It grows best in areas that receive adequate sunshine and high temperatures. It will survive minor and short-term conditions of drought quite well. Some gardeners sell it under the name of Bastard Cobas, Namibian grape, and the Tree grape plant.
Growing this plant is the easiest thing you will ever do. It does not need much maintenance in the long term. Once it establishes its roots in the soil, you will not have to water it that often. There aren’t any particular feeding and nutrient requirements for the juttae succulents.
7. Snake Plant
Sansevieria trifasciata is also known affectionately as the Snake plant or the Mother-in-law’s tongue. It also goes by unconventional names, such as St. George’s sword and Viper’s bowstring hemp.
It is popular as the perfect succulent for beginners. It can grow as tall as 4 to 7 feet high outdoors. Now that is quite a lot of height for your average household succulent.
It has very long, narrow strip-like leaves that grow vertically upwards. These leaves are easily recognizable by their pattern of thick green stripes with narrow yellow stripes in between. As an evergreen perennial succulent, it stays fresh and healthy all year long, provided the required levels of warm temperatures are provided to the succulent.
It is a low-maintenance plant that does not need a lot of upkeep. All it needs is low to medium intensity sunlight for at least six to eight hours daily. You don’t even need to water it that often as its long roots soon establish themselves in the ground.
Because the snake plant grows so tall in such a short time, you must plant them somewhere that can accommodate their size later. If you plant it in a pot it will never grow up to its full potential.
8. Elephant Bush
You might know the Elephant bush plant by other names such as Portulacaria afra or the Dwarf jade plant. It belongs to the Eastern province of South America and is popular worldwide for its tall growth habit and small, thick leaves.
This succulent plant has reddish-brown woody stems that grow up to 8 to 15 feet tall. It resembles the jade plant a lot because of its coin-shaped plump leaves. It is not easy to get this plant to bloom in cultivation, but when it does, it produces gorgeous clusters of flowers in shades of pink, white and purple.
In the United States, it grows only in hardiness zones 10 to 11. It is unlikely that this plant will grow as big in your backyard as it does in nature. All it needs is full bright sun and warm temperatures to grow and produce new leaves. It cannot be grown in areas where temperatures drop below 25 degrees Fahrenheit, or it might stop growing altogether.
Since the Elephant plant is a succulent, it will grow better under slight drought conditions. You will need to water it once the soil is dry halfway through. Fertilize regularly with a succulent feed to promote its growth into a tall plant.
9. African Milk Tree
Known by its scientific name Euphorbia trigona, this is a most curious-looking and fascinating succulent. Your local gardening store might also have it listed as the Candelabra cactus, the Cathedral cactus, the Friendship cactus, or the Good-luck cactus.
This plant grows 6 to 9 feet tall stems that are triangular. These stems have horizontal ridge-like projections on three sides. These weird ridges are covered with thorns, spikes, and leaves. The leaves are also shaped uniquely like teardrops.
This cactus grows as fast as 1 to 2 feet per year. In most regions of the United States, you will have to keep this plant indoors, where it will only reach about half its actual length. Only those areas with temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night all year long are suitable for growing it outdoors to its full height.
Make sure to plant it in an airy and loamy potting soil instead of common gardening soil. It likes to grow under full bright sun but also tolerates partial bright light. There is not much need to water it unless your area is experiencing a prolonged period of drought.
It would be best if you were careful of one thing when planting this cactus. Its sap is highly toxic to both plants and animals. It might cause severe problems and even death if ingested accidentally. Coming in contact with the skin leads to an eruption of boils and rashes.
10. Century Plant
Standing up to 10 feet tall, this gigantic plant is among the tallest succulent plants. It not only grows tall but also up to 6 feet wide. It is known commonly as the American aloe plant, even though it is not an aloe plant at all.
It is called the century plant because earlier on, people thought it only blooms once every 100 years. That is not true, as it turns out, but there is no doubt that this plant is notoriously difficult to get to flower.
Instead, it has long and thick fleshy leaves in shades of grey-green with bright yellow variegations. These leaves have sharp spikes growing around their edges.
This is one of the hardest tall succulents to grow by yourselves. You cannot grow it indoors or in a pot, as it just will not survive there. In your garden, too, you need to mix an extremely well-draining and mildly enriched soil for it. Make a habit of giving it water regularly and then allowing the soil to dry at least 50 percent before watering again.
This plant will test your patience like no other plant. It is extremely slow growing, and it might take a whopping decade to get the first flower stalks to bloom. When you finally get to experience their gorgeous yellow bloom and their stunning foliage, all the effort previously put in will be worth it.
As a final word of caution, we must warn you that this plant is mildly toxic. If your skin comes in contact with its sap will cause the appearance of boils and rashes. Eating its leaves or flowers might cause a bad case of diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.
11. Pencil Cactus
This one takes the cake when it comes to all tall succulent types. Also known as the Euphorbia tirucalli, it grows up to 30 feet tall. Even under limited conditions, you can provide it within your house; it will grow 6 feet tall at the very least.
It is so named because of thick woody central branches from which several pencil-thin branches emerge and spread in all directions. On this “pencil,” branches are oval-shaped leaves only an inch in size. It is actually not considered a true cactus; because it lacks the traditional spikes on common cacti like the Pincushion cactus or Mammillaria crinita.
However, it is one dangerous succulent to grow by yourself. When its stem or spike is cut, white-colored sap oozes out of it.
This toxic substance can cause severe rashes and allergies if it accidentally gets into contact with bare skin. It has also been reported to cause temporary blindness and severe intestinal symptoms upon accident ingestion by animals and kids.
Growing it is convenient because you must plant it in well-draining and loamy soil with plenty of direct sunlight. Being drought-hardy, it will need watering after three to four weeks, even in spring and summer.
12. Aloe Marlothii
Unlike other members of the Aloe family, such as Aloe vera and Aloe aristata, this plant is known for growing tall up to 8 to 10 feet in height. This tall succulent cactus is also known as a mountain aloe and is originally from Africa.
You cannot miss this plant if you lay your eyes on it. It has a single thick stem growing vertically upwards. This item is surrounded by a lot of large and spiny leaves. During wintertime, this succulent produces red and yellow flowers as well.
Aloe marlothii can only be grown outdoors and in consistently warm regions throughout the year. The rest of its care guide is the same as aloe vera and haworthia fasciata. Water it deeply whenever the topsoil becomes completely dry, and plant it in well-draining soil under full or partial sun.
13. Organ Pipe Cactus
These popular outdoor succulents are native to the rocky deserts of Mexico and the United States. It grows to unbelievable heights of 30 feet as thick columns of cacti that are sometimes just as wide. That is why it is also known as the Arizona organ pipe plant.
This plant can be grown in gardens, patios, or hedges lining your property. You will be surprised that this imposing cactus produces large cream-colored flowers in May and June. These flowers are unique in the sense that they open only at night and then close by mid-morning.
Because this cactus can only be grown outside, only areas where wintertime temperatures do not fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit are suitable for it. It needs gritty, rocky, and sandy soil to establish its roots in, and you can also give your regular feeding using a cactus fertilizer. Put it under direct sun and only water it sparingly, even during the hot summer months.
14. Mexican Fence Post Cactus
These succulents grow up to 16 feet high in the form of slender, tall columnar stems that look like organic fence posts. These stems become no thicker than three to eight inches but carry on growing taller and taller. That is why many people grow this plant as a hedge around their gardens and lawns.
It is also sold under the name Pachycereus marginatus or stenocereus marginatus. During springtime, it produces bell-shaped flowers that are pink to reddish pink in color. The Mexican fence post plant grows the best in the soil as its roots have more room to grow and expand. However, it is possible to grow it in large-sized pots and containers.
You can plant it under direct sun and in hot weather, as these are the ideal conditions for this succulent. Water it regularly only during the hottest and driest months of the year when its soil begins to dry more than 50 percent.
15. Columnar Saguaro plant
These are also knowns as the Sage of the desert or the Giant cactus plants. Found mostly in Mexico, Arizona, and certain parts of California, these tall branching cacti grow up to 40 to 50 feet in height. However, these are not fast-growing tall succulents and take around a century to reach their maximum height, growing barely one inch per year.
They have been given their scientific name Carnegiea gigantea, after the American industrialist Andrew Carnegie and are the least frost-hardy succulents ever.
The color of their tall, columnar, and branching stems ranges from creamy to white. They produce branches that also bend and start growing in an upward direction. One saguaro can produce up to 25 of these branches throughout its lifetime.
Note that it is illegal to dig up one of these and plant them at home. Also, the chances of it surviving are not good anyway.
Considering how long-lasting this plant is, one can assume it to be a pretty hardy species when grown in the appropriate United States hardness zones with hot weather conditions. It needs full sun daily and water only in cases of extreme drought.
There is a wide array of tall succulent types to choose from if you are tired of growing small succulents like sedum morganianum and euphorbia milii.
There are some tall succulents within the range of 4 to 10 feet like Aeonium arboreum and desert rose and then there are some very tall varieties. The include the Mexican fence post cactus and Aloe marlothii that can grow up to 20 or even 30 feet tall.
In our opinion, in the guise of amateur gardener, you should go for a moderately tall species that you can easily grow and maintain at home with all your other responsibilities.
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